The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released updated processing times and statistics for EB-5 petitions this week.
Processing times for EB-5 petitions remain lengthy. As of September 30, 2015, adjudication of I-526 petitions averaged 14.4 months, I-829 processing averaged 15.4 months, and I-924 petitions were adjudicated in an average of 11.6 months.
For Q4 of FY15:
With renewal of the EB-5 Regional Center Program pending, many issuers hoped that filing project exemplar or I-526 petitions prior to the September 30th sunset date would result in their projects being “grandfathered” under the current lower investment amount.
As a result, filing of I-526 petitions increased dramatically; in Q4, more I-526 petitions were filed than in FY13 altogether.
For I-526 petitions over the course of FY15:
As projects scrambled to file before September 30th, the risk of project denial grew higher.
The increased rate of I-526 denial in Q4 is likely only the beginning; denials will likely only increase as petitions filed during the “September 30th bubble” are adjudicated.
The number of pending I-526 petitions has also increased dramatically as a result of increased filing in Q4.
When compared with the previous two fiscal years, FY15 I-526 petition data is as follows:
|FY||I-526 Received||I-526 approved||I-526 denied||Total I-526 adjudications||I-526 pending|